Subcompact hatchbacks such as the Ford Fiesta have plenty of things to brag about. They have excellent fuel economy and they’re easy to park and drive around town due to their small size. And despite being quite small, they have plenty of room for a family of four. When it comes to looks though, subcompacts weren’t made to win beauty contests. Except for the new Mazda2, which borrows its well-proportioned KODO design language from the larger Mazda3 and Mazda6. Styling-wise, I think the Mazda2 is the most appealing subcompact hatch out there. Unfortunately, U.S. enthusiasts who agree with me won’t be able to buy one anytime soon, because Mazda doesn’t want to bring it Stateside.
What a shame, huh?
Although Mazda has sold the outgoing Mazda2 in the U.S. until 2014, the redesigned model won’t follow suit, despite the fact that the new hatch will be built in Mexico. That’s because the Mazda2 was never a big seller in the U.S. and launching a new car wouldn’t make sense with more profitable Mazda products around, said Robert Davis, senior vice president of Mazda USA in an interview.
"We could have had it, but we would have had a number that didn’t make much sense with 600 dealers and with the marketing it takes to launch a new car. I wanted to allocate resources to those products that make us and our dealers considerably more profit than a Mazda2 does," he said according to Auto News.
Continue reading for the full story.
When you ask students to design a car, you normally get some wildly imaginative drawings of vehicles with wings on it, turbo boosters, or a combination of both in some occasions.
But the automotive engineering students from Clemson University aren’t your typical students. For one, they know how to design a car, but more importantly, they know how to design a pretty cool car. Both things were shown in full bloom with the presentation of the Mazda Deep Orange 3.
Built in collaboration with Mazda, the Deep Orange 3 actually represents a next-generation Mazda concept vehicle, conceived and engineered from the ground up by automotive engineering students at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR). "Impressive" doesn’t even do justice on how to describe this vehicle.
Every engineering from the inside and out came from the minds of these young and up-and-coming designers, a tribute to not only their creativity but also to their skills and understanding on how to build a car from scratch. The design of the Deep Orange 3, in particular, was actually penned by student Frederick Naaman at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. Everything else was developed and built by students in Clemson’s graduate automotive engineering program, all of whom are required to create and manufacture a new vehicle prototype. The vehicle’s concept and design are developed in partnership with students from the transportation design department at the Art Center focusing holistically on the vehicle and the end-user.
After months of collaboration and tireless work in ensuring a top-end build at the end of the day, the Deep Orange 3 prototype was born.
Click past the jump to read about the Mazda Deep 3 Orange Prototype
With the ever evolving landscape of the auto industry, it’s easy to get left behind on new developments that can be categorized as a "world first".
Mazda’s probably well aware of that, which is why it is taking the never-before-taken step of unveiling a new car - a global debut, in fact - through a video game system.
Believe it or not, that’s exactly what the Japanese automaker is set to do after partnering with Xbox to introduce a new global model as part of the first-ever global live stream of a new vehicle introduction through the Xbox.
“It’s a digitally connected world, so what better way to reach our customers than through a connected platform like Xbox,” Russell Wager, vice president of marketing for Mazda, said.
”We were looking for a way to launch a global product and tie together our five separate reveals. Xbox not only gave us the platform, but allowed us to leverage our digital assets to drive a global audience to view the event.”
Mazda is keeping a lid on what kind of vehicle it’s going to unveil, but fortunately, we won’t have to wait too long to find out. The ground-breaking unveiling is scheduled to take place on June 26th in New York with the festivities being streamed globally, courtesy of Xbox Live, beginning at 9:00 p.m. EDT.
To drum up interest for the talked about debut, Mazda is sweeping through social media, touring the hashtag #GameChanger, alluding presumably to a car that will redefine its market.
Perhaps Mazda is gearing up to unveil the next-generation MX-5 Miata.
For now, your guesses are as good as ours because the whole event is being shrouded in so much secrecy that would make the Pentagon proud.
If you want to be part of the unveiling - and score a chance to win $2,500 and create your own dream trip to a music event of your choice - you can participate in the live broadcast and the accompanying sweepstakes.
Click past the jump to read some history on the MX-5
Most guys won’t admit this off the bat, but the truth is, men are pretty predictable when it comes to their interests. Ask them their top three interests and you can take it to the bank that two out of those three will be cars and girls.
So what happens when you put one and one together and bring Playboy Playmates to participate in an actual racing environment?
You won’t have to imagine that anymore after Playboy served as an official sponsor of the MX-5 Cup at the Mazda Raceway in Laguna Seca. Not only do you get your fair share of high-octane MX-5s that have all been tuned to race, but you also get hotties like Pilar Lastra and Deanna Brooks acting as the faces of the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy MX-5 Cup.
In addition to being two of the finest playmates in Hugh Heffner’s stable, both Lastra and Brooks have, at one point in their lives, traded their lingerie for racing suits.
Check out the video and listen to their personal racing stories around Laguna Seca!
Just a few days ago, we reported that Mazda and Fiat have joined forces to jointly produce a new sports car based on the upcoming redesigned MX-5 Miata. Fiat would use this opportunity to revive the once popular Alfa Romeo Spider, the car whose shoes the MX-5 filled back in 1990. This could not only revive the Spider overseas, but it could also bring Alfa Romeo back into the U.S. market at a reasonable price.
Recently, at a Chrysler event, a reporter from Reuters learned that this relationship may go even further than simply jointly manufacturing a sports car. The report states that Fiat is also open to allowing Mazda to use Chrysler plants to manufacture their North America-bound cars. This would obviously help Mazda a great deal, as importing cars from Japan to North American countries is extremely expensive and drives up the cars’ MSRPs, which in turn drives customers out of dealerships.
There is nothing official, but we could see something like the Ford-Mazda partnership that started in 1979 and effectively ended in 2010. This would result in various joint-ventures between Fiat, Chrysler, Alfa Romeo, and Mazda, making the group one that rivals Volkswagen Auto Group, though a tad less luxurious and expensive. The advancements across the board, however, would be similar.
After some tough times, Mazda finally saw some gains in 2011, as its market share increased 9 percent that year, but it needs more to remain afloat. Mazda should see some additional increases over the next few year regardless, as the RX-8, which was down 33 percent in 2011, is being discontinued and the Miata, which was down 11 percent, is being significantly redesigned. A little added boost from a production-cost sharing venture with Fiat and Chrysler could do nothing but help all three rebounding brands and reinvent Alfa Romeo in the U.S.
For those of us who don’t want to drive around town in a vehicle the size of a train, there have always been small cars to keep us happy. They have gone through many changes since they first became popular during the gas crisis. No longer is it acceptable to just be small and fuel efficient, as the automotive buying public demands much more out of these tiny vehicles.
Today’s modern small car has to be quick and fun to drive, while also having plenty of room inside the cabin. If the car doesn’t manage over 30 miles per gallon then it’s a big disappointment. Not to mention looks. A small car needs to look good as well as not be completely boring to look at everyday.
We have compiled a list of the top ten best small cars on the market in the United States and, like always, we have one rule; the price needs to be under $20,000. That should give us plenty to choose from.
Hit the jump to see the list.
There are certain vehicles that just sell well. Take the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry for instance. No matter what happens or how good the competition is, these two will sell well for their companies. We’re not saying that there is anything wrong with these two models, except for the Camry, which is dull as a dishwasher, but a buyer needs to look at what else is on the table. The first choice might not be the best choice.
In many cases, the cars that are often ignored are the better buys. These are the dark horses of the automotive world. These are cars that fly under the radar of the American public.
Below are our ten best cars that aren’t quite known to the general public. Sure, us car people know about them, but your average consumer might be unaware. This list is not a top ten; so don’t think that one is better than ten, because it might not be.
There are a few models on the list that won’t be under the radar for long, but as of now, we still consider them dark horse models.
Hit the jump to see the list.
In the auto industry, the name of the game has always been to sell cars. No ifs, ands, or buts. A car sold puts a smile on the company’s collective face and every car that’s left collecting dust is money straight down the drain.
Over the years, automakers have taken to great lengths to come out with different ways to sell a vehicle, and one particular option has proven to be a successful avenue in which to do so. That, of course, is through certified pre-owned used car programs.
A lot of automakers that have chided the notion of selling pre-owned vehicles are already picking up on the trend and some brands that have yet to dive into the program are beginning to see the rosy outlook that it provides. One such automaker that’s getting ready to jump into the bandwagon is Mazda. The Japanese automaker is beginning the process of offering its own CPO plan for prospective customers.
The Japanese automaker is set to begin offering a CPO program for all of its 2006 to 2010 model units that have registered less than 60,000 miles on its odometer. Naturally, provisions are being set on the availability of these cars to prospective buyers. Every Mazda vehicle that falls under the CPO will offer either the remaining balance of the factory warranty or an additional 12-month/12,000-mile comprehensive warranty and a seven-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
On top of that, Mazda will also be offering roadside assistance on its CPO vehicles, which covers a host of services including flat-tire changing, battery-jump, lockout, and fuel delivery.
As it stands now, Mazda’s CPO program is already being offered at a number of participating Mazda dealerships in the US with more dealerships slated to be added in the near future.
Press Release after the jump.
Once a year right around the start of the holiday season, the Southern Automotive Media association puts on an event aimed at lifting the spirits of a select group of patients from Baptist Hospital who have been dealt a raw deal in the game of life by bringing them along for a day at the track where they are all given the opportunity to join Homestead Miami Speedway’s elite 100 MPH club. As much of a charitable function as Rides and Smiles is every year, it is impossible to ignore the fact that as part of our volunteerism we too are fortunate enough to spend a day at the racetrack.
There is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes to make this even run as smoothly as it does and the manufacturers are certainly a large part of the program’s success by ensuring that there will be products like the supercharged Ford Shelby GT500, drop top Dodge Viper SRT-10 and a bright yellow Bumblebee Camaro from Chevrolet to help keep the kid’s enthusiasm overflowing as they await their chance to do a smoky burnout and then head south down the pit straight before entering into the twisty 2.3 mile long road course before climbing the banking of Nascar’s turns three and four on the north side of the track which then dropped them onto the front straight where they would reach the magical 100 MPH mark.
There were also a few benevolent individuals who donated both their time and their rides to bring smiles to all of the kid’s faces; like a race ready Ferrari 360, one flame spitting Ford GT, a bright yellow Corvette ZR-1 as well as one very special bright orange Porsche 911 GT3 RS; however we were selected to drive the brand new and equally as orange, Mazda Miata. To be perfectly honest, after receiving the news we were a bit bummed; but hey, it’s for the kids!
Continued after the jump.
Sometimes, patience does pay off in the end. After years of waiting, all of us can now giddy-up in excitement after hearing news that Mazda is now set to bring the Mazda 2 in North America.
The news was revealed by no less than Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO of Mazda’s North American operations. In a statement he said to a number of Mazda dealerships across the continent, O’Sullivan said that after years of evaluating the shifting markets in the region, now looked like the best time to introduce the compact vehicle to a market that has long starved to see it out on the roads.
"As consumers’ tastes and attitudes toward small vehicles have changed, we now believe strongly there is a place in our lineup for a car below our current least-expensive car, the Mazda 3,” he said.
“The Mazda 2 will be true to everything that makes our cars stand apart from the competition: it will be stylish, fun-to-drive and a heck of a value. In short, it will be Zoom-Zoom."
Off the bat, we’re already excited about the Mazda 2’s impending arrival on North American soil and we certainly can’t wait for the 2009 LA Motor Show later this year. Why, you ask?
Well, a certain car from Japan will be zoom-zooming its way to the show. Care to venture a guess what it is?
The automaker from Hiroshima dropped a bomb on the automotive market when they came up with the new Mazda3, styled heavily with Nagare inspired lines and bulges this was truly an economy car that you would aspire to own. The exterior of the Mazda3 is interesting to say the least, made up of a multitude of complex curves and detailed lines evidence that the Japanese design team put a good amount of their own blood, sweat and tears into the economy car car’s design. Starting at just under $16,000 for a sedan and closer to $20,000 for the hatchback, the Mazda3 packs a whole lot of car into an affordable package. If you upgrade the sadden to the touring model, not only do you get wave mesh grills, Bi-Xenon headlamps and sporty front and rear bumpers complete with a lip spoiler, but you also get the wonderful 2.5 Liter four cylinder that makes 167 HP and 168 lb-ft of torque to go along with your beautifully sculpted people mover.
The exterior is highlighted by a sense of depth added by the hollow emblem on the front bumper and our car’s Crystal White Pearl Mica paint covered the wide wheel arches that housed a set of stylish 17 inch rims. The Mazda screams style, filled with playful bodylines. When compared to another automobile that we recently tested based on the same platform. We liked the Focus Coupe, and it reminded us of a serious Ford of the past, but the Focus is as plain Jane as sporty can try to be, but the Ford’s exterior was just flat. There was no depth like the Mazda, whereas the Focus is definitely for the person who wants the most car for their buck, while the 3 screams fun for a few dollars more.
Continued after the jump.
Why? Because they consider it might hurt the Mazda3 sales. Auto dealers have been clamoring for the Mazda2, a popular small car in Japan and Europe, as North American drivers dump big vehicles in favor of fuel-efficient rides. If brought, the Mazda2 will compete with the Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris.
"The Mazda2 is a very good product, and we’ve received very strong requests from dealers. But it is still under study," Mazda President Hisakazu Imaki said about a possible North American debut. "But I must also say that I don’t regret that we haven’t been able to supply the car thus far.
"One of the biggest factors the decision hasn’t been made is that the Mazda3 is still enjoying strong sales," Imaki said here. Also, demand for the Mazda2 might recede if gasoline prices moderate, he said.
Mazda announced today that the all-new 2009 Mazda6 will launch later this year, with an expected on-sale date in late summer, 2008. The highly anticipated 2009 MAZDA6 is the first of Mazda’s “Zoom-Zoom Evolution” second-generation vehicles, building on a heritage of sports sedans and sports cars that no other manufacturer can boast, and bringing a combination of sports sedan, sophistication, build quality and product insight not currently found in the market.
Following on the heels of the CX-7 and CX-9 crossover SUVs, the 2009 MAZDA6 was designed and engineered for the needs, wants and desires of the North American customer. As it has been since the first MAZDA6 launched in 2002, all North American MAZDA6s will continue to be built at AutoAlliance International, in Flat Rock, Mich, a joint venture with partner Ford Motor Company.
The North American MAZDA6 differs from the similarly named car sold in the rest of the world in many ways: larger interior and exterior size, more powerful engines and unique styling. What it retains, however, is something that earned the first MAZDA6 more than 130 international awards and accolades: it delivers Zoom-Zoom, and in large doses.
Have you always wanted to roll in a top tuner vehicle, but lacked the time or flow to build one? If this sounds like you then perk up because BP Products North America wants to give this ultimate ride to you! All you have to do is win the Amoco Ultimate(r) Ride Sweepstakes. You could be the lucky one who gets the keys to this Mazda RX-8 that’s being fully-customized by top tuner and trendsetter Jay Laub.
A veteran of the North American import tuning scene, Laub has taken home over 100 best (...)
Faced with increased competition in the American LeMans Series LMP2 category, MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development and B-K Motorsports today announced they will partner with Advanced Engine Research Ltd (AER) and Lola Cars to develop an all-new Mazda-derived engine and purpose-built chassis for their 2007 championship effort. The goal is to improve on the 2006 result of third place in the American LeMans Series (ALMS) Championship for P2 cars, with an eye on the top step of the podium.
Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) donated five clean-burning, fuel-efficient Tribute Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) to the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) today at a ceremony at Fire Station 27 in Hollywood. The vehicles are prototypes of Mazda’s Tribute compact SUV and are part of 30 total Tribute Hybrid SUVs that Mazda will loan to fire agencies across Southern California.
The Tribute HEVs, branded with the familiar LAFD badge, will be driven by LAFD staff in various assignments (...)